(Taiwan News) — At the opening session of the World Health Assembly on Monday (May 20), St. Vincent and the Grenadines Minister of Health Luke Browne delivered a powerful speech outlining the common sense reasons why Taiwan should logically be included in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) annual forum.
During the presentation of a supplementary item calling for Taiwan to be included in the WHA titled “Inviting Taiwan to Participate in the World Health Assembly,” Browne presented a thorough and compelling argument as to why Taiwan should be logically and ethically included in the gathering. During his stirring speech, Browne emphasized the fact that Taiwan is a separate nation, its participation in the past, the needs of its 23 million people, and that its participation would not be inconsistent with the “one China” principle.
First, Browne pointed out the fact that because China does not actually “exercise authority and control over Taiwan,” it cannot possibly represent the country at the assembly. He then reminded participants that “Taiwan was never defined to be a part of the PRC” and that the two countries have “separate, autonomous, independent, and very different governments.”
Browne cited Taiwan’s previous attendance of the WHA as proof that its participation is not illegal, as China had claimed. He later stated that the fact that Beijing had allowed Taiwan to participate in the past was an “open acknowledgment by the PRC itself” that it could not “adequately represent” Taiwan at the assembly.
He then cut to the chase and stated the obvious reason why Taiwan has been excluded is that “the government in Beijing does not like the current administration in Taipei.” He then questioned if it is ethical to exclude the “interests of the 23 million people in Taiwan” because of the interests of another government.
Browne then exposed the flaw in China’s argument that Taiwan should be excluded because it is a part of China by pointing out the fact that Taiwan had already participated in the past. He pointed out the absurdity of China’s logic by asking, “Can a part of my country, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, be invited to sit here as an observer?”
He closed by calling for reason and said that in the same spirit of there being “one Caribbean” with many nations, so too is there “one China” with separate nations that should be allowed to participate. He also called for wisdom and reason to prevail in allowing the health interests of “23 million people of the world” to be represented.
In response, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen took Twitter to thanked Browne for his “staunch support of Taiwan.”